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Installing Debian on PS3

It’s a well-know fact that the Playstation 3 is a platform where you can install an operating system other than the one provided by Sony, i.e., you can install Linux. Due to Debian is the distro with more supported architectures, the PS3 can’t be the exception.

This post is for those PS3 owners who wants to “play” with Debian on this architecture, without further ado, here you are the steps for installing it…

What you’ll need:

  1. A blank CD
  2. A pendrive
  3. A Playstation 3 (FAT)
  4. Internet access.



In order to boot Linux on a PS3 you have to install a bootloader similar to LILO or GRUB. The bootloaders available for Linux are kboot, yaboot and petitboot. Kboot lets you boot Fedora, Ubuntu and Debian, whereas yaboot is the Yellow Dog Linux’s bootloader for the PS3.

Download the following file otheros.bld. Once you’ve downloaded it you have to copy it into the /PS3/OTHEROS folder on your pendrive (if the folder doesn’t exist, make it).

On the PS3 go to System Settings > Install Other OS from the XMB. It will detect the otheros.bld file on the pendrive and it will install it.

Debian Live-CD

In order to install the Debian’s stable version on the PS3 you have to use a live-cd. You can download it here http://ps3.keshi.org/debian-live/20070114/debian-live-ps3pf-20070114.iso. Once you’ve downloaded it you can use a cd burning application to record the iso file (like k3b, nero, etc).

Insert this Debian-live cd and go to System Settings > Default System > Other OS (PS3 by default). It will let you load kboot with the Debian live-cd’s boot options.

At  booting time you can select one of the following options (you can check them out in the /media/cdrom0/etc/kboot.conf file form CD):

install Install
install ps3fb:mode:0 Install using automatic resolution
install ps3fb:mode:1 Install using 480i resolution
install ps3fb:mode:2 Install using 480p resolution
install ps3fb:mode:3 Install using 720i resolution
install ps3fb:mode:4 Install using 1080i resolution
install ps3fb:mode:5 Install using 1080p resolution
install ps3fb:mode:6 Install using 576i resolution
install ps3fb:mode:7 Install using 576p resolution

It will depend on your monitor’s resolution. In my case the best option was 720p then I had to adjust the image size using the TV’s zoom function. Anyway you can modify it in the /etc/kboot.conf file.If you don’t know what resolution to use maybe you should try them all using the live-cd, so you can follow these options with kboot:

live Try Debian Live
yuv480i Try Debian Live  at 480i
yuv480p Try Debian Live at  480p
yuv720p Try Debian Live at 720p
yuv1080i Try Debian Live at 1080i
yuv1080p Try Debian Live at 1080p
yuv576i Try Debian Live at 576i
yuv576p Try Debian Live at 576p

Installing Debian

Follow Debian’s installation steps as you would normally. As a side note, the partitioner may complain about not having a ppc partition. Just ignore that message.

After all this you can enjoy Debian on your PS3 :)


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  1. #1 by Luis Gallardo on 28/02/2010 - 8:14 pm

    @Tussand Entonces las cosa va por ahí, porque de seguro sid debe estar usando el kernel 2.6.32 o superior, y la forma como se mapean los dispositivos en la PS3 cambiaron y quizás eso afecte también a /proc.

    Mi recomendación es que instales squeeze. Para hacer esto sigue los pasos que explico aquí http://lgallardo.com/2009/03/08/instalando-debian-en-el-ps3-desde-un-pendrive/, más específicamente en los apartados “NOTA: Instalar Debian testing (Squeeze)” y “Prepararse para Debian Testing”

    PD: Aunque creo que Squeeze te puede dar problemas si trata de instalar el kernel 2.6.32…de ser así tendrías que hallar el listado de paquetes de lenny. Avisa cualquier cosa!!!

  2. #2 by Tussand on 28/02/2010 - 7:49 pm

    De eso ya me di cuenta, así que le puse la Sid. Dice eso y más cosas, además de la información del tty4. Cuando tenga tiempo si lo deseas la posteo.

  3. #3 by Luis Gallardo on 28/02/2010 - 7:31 pm

    @Tussand ¿Solo te dice eso? El único problema que tuve instalando Debian fue que el livecd dejó de ser válido al pasar lenny como estable (los paquetes de stable ahora están mal referenciados). De resto no tuve problemas.

  4. #4 by Tussand on 28/02/2010 - 7:02 pm

    Ese es el problema, la instalación no puede continuar.

  5. #5 by Luis Gallardo on 27/02/2010 - 12:55 am

    @Tussand Creo recordar eso. No te preocupes que es solo al momento de instalar. Avisa si no puede avanzar la instalación como tal.

  6. #6 by Tussand on 26/02/2010 - 6:02 pm

    Gracias por la información, pero ahora tengo un problema.

    Mientras se está instalando el sistema base, me sale un problema que dice así:

    Failure triying to run: chroot /target mount -t proc proc /proc

    ¿Alguna sugerencia?

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